Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport
One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you'll achieve extraordinary results. Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It's a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive twenty-first century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead in a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there's a better way. In DEEP WORK, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four "rules," for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, DEEP WORK takes the reader on a journey through memorable stories -- from Carl Jung building a stone tower in the woods to focus his mind, to a social media pioneer buying a round-trip business class ticket to Tokyo to write a book free from distraction in the air -- and no-nonsense advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored. DEEP WORK is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-10-06
3
Reviewed: 2017-06-18

In many respects, this is a book that perfectly articilates what I have been trying to do in my life. That is, using a method of minimualism to allow me to focus on things that matter. The first part of the book focuses on the reasons why a focused life is a more productive one. This includes the now-familiar deliberate practice aspects of deep work, as well as the science behind the idea that we have a limited amout of will power. One of the more interesting things I learned was that, while the brain has a limited ability to focus on one particular thing continuously, it is able to conjure up the will to tackle other subjects without much rest. In other words, the brain does not need rest as much as it needs change. This, in my opinion, is a key finding. The second half of the book focused on how to achieve focus. It supports the idea that controlling one's schedule, limiting others access to you, and saying "no" are powerful ways to limit detractions. In general, this is a book that deserve purchasing the execttive summary for. It's got some good points that you will want to remember and, if possible, internalize.

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